Creating Unmistakable Value
The key to making and keeping people loyal to your service is the ability to create unmistakable value for them. This means the value you offer is so unmistakable that customers will have no desire or need to seek service elsewhere. You are the preferred provider.
Like any other human relationship, the relationships we establish with our customers thrive on trust and respect. It’s only logical that we look to service providers to meet these same basic relational needs, but it’s not something every organization knows how to do. It is a lot easier to go through the motions and offer service at the logistics level, than it is to thoughtfully determine how to add value that builds a meaningful connection.
Unexpected Unmistakable Value: I stay connected with a high school friend on social media. A few weeks ago, she posted about an experience she had with a subscription clothing service (a post seen by over 200 followers). She has her monthly box of goods sent to her office and it arrived right before a minor surgical procedure. With the surgery and the recovery, she knew she would miss the five-day return period for the items she didn’t plan to purchase. She emailed the company, explained the situation, and let them know the date she would be able to return the items she did not plan to keep. Not only did the company waive the late fee, they also sent her a bouquet of flowers and a well-wishing note. In one unexpected act, this company managed to connect on a personal level, create an unmistakable value experience, and lock in a customer for life.
Leaders set the example for how customers will be treated. Modeling meaningful connections with employees shows employees how to connect with customers. When leaders make connecting a regular practice, it builds a trusting culture that emphasizes the value of service.
We all work in organizations with important aims. With the pressure to hit goals and get things done, those aims and the larger purpose can get lost in the shuffle. Frequently connecting ourselves and our employees back to purpose helps us recognize our value and increases our chances of creating unmistakable value for those we serve.
People will and can offer unmistakable value to customers when they have a strong leader to imitate, are clear on mission and purpose, and know how they connect. The employee who sent the flowers to my friend was empowered to do so. It is highly unlikely he/she asked the CEO for permission, but it is highly likely that he/she has received or observed a similar gesture from the CEO or another leader in the past, making it clear that such action is encouraged.
Create Unmistakable Value in 4 Steps
Model what you expect from others. When the goal is unmistakable value, find ways to create this value for those around you. Creating experiences that leave employees and customers with no desire to seek service (or employment) elsewhere doesn’t have to cost money. Think about an employee on your team who may be working through a challenge. What tip or information can you offer to help him/her get to the other side? Maybe it’s as simple as a cup of coffee when you notice a few late-night emails the night before. Model unmistakable value by mindfully connecting with those on your team.
Find ways to remind yourself and your team of the purpose of the organization. Why do you all come to work? What’s at the core of your efforts? We can sometimes feel like our team should just know this answer, but it can get foggy if they haven’t been reminded in a long time. Decide how and when you can weave in connect to purpose moments. Can you start off a meeting with a connect to purpose story? Can you review customer comments that reflect unmistakable value and share those during a meeting or in a weekly update message? This is a way to communicate what right looks like.